CAS Statement on Toyota/DOJ Criminal Settlement
The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Immediate Release: 3/19/14. Contact: 202-328-7700
Statement of CAS Executive Director Clarence Ditlow on Department of Justice-Toyota Settlement
“The Justice Department settlement with Toyota is a complete game changer. Until today, auto makers faced insignificant fines and no criminal penalties under the Vehicle Safety Act.1 Today’s fine of $1.2 billion against Toyota makes the $35 million maximum fine that NHTSA can impose seem like chump change. The deferred prosecution on the wire fraud charge means auto executives face the real life threat of going to jail for concealing safety defects in the future. Senator Vance Hartke and Representative Tip O’Neill who pushed for criminal penalties in the 1966 Vehicle Safety Act today see their efforts to restrain corporate auto crime were not made in vain.”
1 The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, Pub. L. No. 89-563 (Sep. 9, 1966).